After a fight video at the Bridgewater Commons mall condemns the arrest of a black teenager, the new state attorney general reminds law enforcement of ‘racially influenced policing’.
The video shows two 15-year-old boys, one black and one white, fighting in a third-floor lounge at the mall. When two police officers arrive, one pulls the white teen onto a couch while they subdue the black teen to the ground by placing one knee on his back. The white teenager is allowed to roam freely.
In a memo sent to all law enforcement chief executives on Friday, Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin said “even the appearance of racially disparate treatment is detrimental to community-law enforcement relations, as well as public confidence in the justice system. criminal justice”.
He reminds officers of a 2005 directive that prohibits “racial-influenced policing” and considers a person’s race or ethnicity as a factor in determining whether someone is involved in criminal activity or how to treat someone.
Reaction to Bridgewater Commons shopping center fight video
The incident is being investigated by the Somerset County Attorney’s Office.
Already Governor Phil Murphy has called the video disturbing and local groups Black Lives Matter and NACCP have called for the officers to be fired.
Even the white teenager in the video called the treatment of the black teenager “bad”.
The black teenager’s family, meanwhile, has hired famed civil rights lawyer Ben Crump.
The Township of Bridgewater postponed a town hall that was scheduled for Wednesday citing the number of people interested in attending.
On Tuesday, Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench, a Republican, said the police department was cooperating with the prosecutor’s investigation.
“I want to thank the public for their patience in refraining from jumping to conclusions while an investigation is ongoing,” he said. “I also want to thank the brave men and women of the Bridgewater Police Department for their continued service and for keeping our public safe in today’s challenging environment.”
The police department said on its Facebook page that it was “grateful for our community partners and looking forward to continuing to build our positive relationships.”